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Old 03-15-2011, 03:50 PM   #1
o4_srt
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Default o4_srt's epic brewing adventure

I recently bought the book "Brewing Classic Styles" By Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. After perusing it, I started thinking. I'm 26, and am relatively new to craft beer, hell, beer in general.

When I brew, I usually stick to what I like, which is fine, since I am the sole consumer, for the most part. However, sticking with what you know is hardly a good way to broaden one's tastes.

Additionally, I can definitely see myself involved in some type of commercial brewing operation at some point in my life. Maybe not now, maybe not 10 years, but perhaps once I am settled in my career, and want to focus on my retirement plans.

Noobness and general beer ignorance are hardly good characteristics of a good brewer, so I'm starting a journey: Brew every single style out of "Brewing Classic Styles," and document each brew along the way.

Feel free to offer tips or tricks (either to process or specific brews themselves) along the way, or just tag along. Should be a delicious trip


My setup includes:
5 gallon mash tun w/CPVC manifold
5 gallon HLT
30 qt aluminum kettle
Bayou Classic Burner
DIY Solderless Counterflow Chiller (Thanks HBT!)

I only have 2 batches under my belt with this setup, so like I said, feel free to offer advice.


Wish list of things to acquire during this journey:
1. Fermentation fridge
2. Temp controller
3. barley crusher
4. 2nd burner for HLT
5. kettle for HLT

I'll be concurrently building a man cave/brewery in my garage during this process, and I'd like to build a 3 tier rig in the near future as well.

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Old 03-15-2011, 03:55 PM   #2
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It also depends on what style of brewing you're gunna be doing As to complexity. All the basic styles can be done with extract,partial extract,or AG,so far as that's concerned. So,I think the sky's the limit since there are so many types of things to put together to make any given one.
I guess that's where the fun comes in...
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:09 PM   #3
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That is great idea! I have thought about it myself and think it would be great way to get process down, while exploring at the same time.

Do you plan on submitting each to competitions?
How often do you brew, how long will it take to complete?

That seems like a great project to have others join in on! If there are other takers, I would probably join on. I have three recipes already brewed and one took silver in English Pale Ales in my first competition.

Either way, that is a lofty goal and I think a worthy learning experience.

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Old 03-15-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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Here's a tip. Stick to brewing the styles you like and pick up commercial examples of those you're not familiar with. It's much less heart breaking to have one bottle of a style you find you don't care for than 5G of it. Plus, it'll show you what each style should roughly be like.

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Old 03-15-2011, 04:23 PM   #5
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Default Brew 1: Cream Ale

I'll start by saying that I do not have lagering capability yet (hopefully by summer, I've been stalking craigslist daily). So I'm starting with the Ales.

First: The base recipe (straight from "Brewing Classic Styles")

OG: 1.050
FG: 1.009
ADF: 75%
IBU: 18
Color: 3 SRM
ABV: 5.4%

4.75 lbs Pilsner Malt
4.75 lbs US 2 Row
1 lb Flaked rice (or corn)
0.75 lb cane or corn syrup
1 oz Liberty (4% AA) - 60 minutes
0.5 oz Liberty (4% AA) - 1 minute

Yeast: WLP001 California Ale OR Wyeast 1056 American Ale OR Fermentis Safale US-5

Mash at 149 for 90 minutes. Boil for 90 minutes to reduce DMS.

My scaled recipe (I do 3 gallon batches, since it's only me drinking it, might drop that down to 2 or 1 depending on how full the pipeline is)

OG: 1.056
FG (projected): 1.014
IBU: 18.03
Color: 3.9 SRM
ABV: 5.5%

2.84 lbs Pilsner
2.84 US 2 row
0.6 lbs Flaked rice
0.45 lbs Corn Sugar
0.48 oz Mt. Hood Leaf(5.9% AA) - 60 minutes
0.30 oz Mt. Hood Leaf (5.9% AA) - 1 minute
1 Bottle WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch yeast

To start, I'll explain my substitutions.

LHBS did not have liberty, suggested Mt. Hood. So I went with it.
Jamil recommends using rice, as it has a "very clean flavor"
Jamil also said using kolsch could make it a little more lager-like, and may impart a slight fruity note to the beer. So I took him up on it.

Now, the process.

1. Combined malt (sans rice and sugar), and conditioned by misting it with water, and stirring, until I felt it was properly hydrated (I remember reading, perhaps on the wiki, that it should feel like straw). Waited 30 minutes, then crushed via corona mill. As is typical with corona's, ended up with a fair amount of flour.

(Note 1: Add better malt mill to wish list)

2. Heated Strike water (10.87 quarts) to 163 degrees, added campden tablet and PH 5.2 stabilizer, drained 2 quarts to preheat MLT. Preheated MLT for 5 minutes, returned to kettle to reheat.

3. Added grains/rice to MLT, and doughed in. Mash temp was 153, so I stirred to get it down to 149. Let sit for 5 minutes, then took a PH measurement: 6.8. So, heated up 2 quarts of water, added more stabilizer, and added to MLT. After 5 minutes, took another PH reading: 5.4.

4. Mashed for 45 minutes, and checked temperature: 143. Heated up 1 qt of water (with partial campden tablet) to 200, added to MLT and stirred. Temp back to 150.

5. After 60 minutes mash time, temperature down to 145. Repeated step 4, temp back to 149 (required a bit of stirring to reduce temperature after water addition)

6. Iodine test for conversion performed at 60 minutes, test indicated conversion complete.

7. After 90 minutes, Heated sparge water (9.42 quarts) up to 200 degrees, transferred to preheated HLT.

8. Vorlaufed 1 gallon, then drained first runnings into kettle.

9. Sparged, giving the mash a good stir after adding sparge water. MLT temp after addition was 160. (Would closer to 170 give me better efficiency?)

10. Vorlaufed 1 gallon, added 2nd runnings to kettle

11. Drained sample to check preboil OG: 1.0414 (calculated, measured when temp was 80 degrees). Target according to software was 1.042. Close enough.

12. Boiled wort, added corn sugar, added hops per hops schedule. Added irish moss 15 minutes prior to flameout.

13. At 90 minutes, sanitized counterflow, flameout, and drained kettle into fermenter. Wort temp was roughly 65 at pitching. Pitched yeast, and moved fermenter to the basement.

OG: 1.052

I think I might have a bit more than the planned 3 gallons, which would explain why my OG is a little low. I should probably add volume markings to my carboys, and find a better way to measure volume in my kettle.

14. Set fermentation bucket to 65, and called it a day.

15. Signs of fermentation appear after 30 hours. Turn off fermentation bucket heater. This lowers fermentation temperature to roughly 62 degrees.

16. At pitching + 60 hours, heavy fermentation visible, with 1" of kreusan topped with a cream colored mat. Airlock bubbling constantly, so much so that sanitizer is forced through the holes in the lid.








Things I have learned so far:
1. need a better grain mill
2. Need to insulate MLT lid: the lid was warm to the touch during mash, while the sides were cool. So I'm losing heat through it. A can of great stuff should do the trick
3. Make a starter. This is something I need to get better at. I've done it in the past, but have been foregoing it due to lack of time during the week.

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Old 03-15-2011, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cl8n View Post
That is great idea! I have thought about it myself and think it would be great way to get process down, while exploring at the same time.

Do you plan on submitting each to competitions?
How often do you brew, how long will it take to complete?

That seems like a great project to have others join in on! If there are other takers, I would probably join on. I have three recipes already brewed and one took silver in English Pale Ales in my first competition.

Either way, that is a lofty goal and I think a worthy learning experience.
I brew as often as I can, which is not enough.

I work 40 hours a week, and attend school full time, plus have upkeep on the house, and the swmbo to deal with, so I'm rather limited. My wife works every other saturday from 9-3, so I usually try to brew then, depending on homework.

I'm guessing this will take me 2+ years to finish.

@IrregularPulse: I plan to purchase a commercial example of each before sampling. There is a singles store less than 5 minutes away from my job that has a good selection of craft beer, as well as a decent 6 pack store not too far away too. Plus, the local distributor said he will special order whatever I want, after I bought a bell's sampler and an ommegang sampler last weekend. Additionally, with my plans to be involved in brewing commercially someday, I feel like one must be able to understand and brew styles that he/she may not enjoy as much as others, if not just to have a solid foundation.


@cl8n, I don't really plan to enter competitions with these beers, they are more to work on expanding my palate and process. Plus, all the recipes have already won awards, which is why I am using them in the first place. If they have won awards, then they must be at least decent examples of the style.


The way I look at it, you can't get really good at something without understanding the basics. Not only in process, but in recipe formulation, taste, etc. You cannot pick up a violin and play Tchaikovsky's violin concerto without first learning the basics.
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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Default Brew 2: Blonde Ale

space reserved for the next brew, tentatively scheduled for Sat. March 26

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Old 03-15-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Default Brew #3: Kolsch

Space reserved for Kolsch, date TBD

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Old 03-15-2011, 04:42 PM   #9
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Default Brew #4 American Wheat/Rye

Space reserved for Brew #4, date TBD

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Old 03-15-2011, 04:42 PM   #10
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Default Brew #5 Amber Hybrid

Space reserved for brew #5, date TBD

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